The NKRA is grateful for the support provided in the 4th Street park by PAM GOLDING PROPERTIES and VISION TACTICAL SECURITY

NEWSLETTER MAY 2008

The Killarney-Riviera community security project

The “secure zone project” is almost up and running, with all participating buildings now being connected by radio transmitters into our very own control centre (see picture). Despite many delays caused by equipment suppliers, sub-contractors, the City Council and the weather, testing and sign-off will begin soon at each member building in turn.
 
By the time you read this, all participating buildings should be receiving full camera surveillance. We already have a dedicated armed-response vehicle performing continual but unobtrusive crime prevention patrols, to ensure our area is safe but without creating the ambiance of Iraq. (see photo – identify protected).

The project does not include new security guards inside your buildings. Every building has the right to appoint the security company of their choice inside their building. While the FASDA company which provides the patrols is willing to provide an internal guarding service as well, this will be separate from the security zone project, and for your own cost.

We will need to form a steering committee to represent all of the participating buildings in interactions with the service provider during the term of the contract. Each participating member building is entitled to nominate a representative. Please let me have your nominations, to wdford@global.co.za.

Unlike in some of our neighbouring suburbs, our security project is totally voluntary, and buildings only have to pay if they agree to join in. The services are designed so that only member buildings benefit, and the parasites are excluded from the direct benefits. Although neighbouring suburbs are being asked to pay more than R500 per month, our service providers are charging member buildings only R99 per unit per month (excl VAT).
 
If your building would like to share these benefits and would like more information, please contact me at wdford@global.co.za.

The new City Rates Policy has been finalised

The new Municipal Properties Rates Act, which will be implemented from July 2008, requires municipalities to use a new formula for calculating the amount of the assessment rates payable by property owners. It also changes the way these costs will be paid. This is going to have serious implications for sectional title complexes especially.

Firstly, the assessment rates will in future be based on the resale value of the property. This is a significant change from the current system, where the rates are based only on the assumed value of the land.

Secondly, at present the body corporate is being taxed as a single property, and the members then jointly finance this expense through the levies. In future the individual owners will each have to pay assessment rates in their private capacity. Although you will thus have to pay an “extra” tax from now on, you should also see a drop in you levies at the next AGM, as your body corporate will no longer have to pay for assessment rates.

The City has repeatedly emphasised that the total amount of revenue collected overall will be the same as before (apart from the inevitable inflation increases from year to year). Therefore we should all find ourselves paying roughly the same as before. However since some property owners have been underpaying up to now while others have carried a heavier burden, there will certainly be some adjustments for some people.

The charge for residential property owners will be 0.4 percent per annum (0.004) of the market value. For sectional title units we get a further 20% rebate, which brings it down to 0.0032. Also, the first R150 000 of market value is non-taxable. The total charge will be divided into twelve portions and charged to you monthly. Your monthly charge will thus be: (total market valuation less R150 000) multiplied by 0.0032, and then divided by 12.

The indicative tariff provided on the valuation page is based on the old rates – please recalculate your monthly rates charge as explained above.

The valuation roll will be revisited as often as possible to adjust for the market changes in different properties and suburbs.

Additional rebates will be considered on application for pensioners earning R5 000 or less and/or to pensioners owning property which is valued at R500 000 or less; as well as to schools and religious buildings etc.

The City also needs certain information from each sectional title owner, such as the postal address to which they should send your invoice in future etc. You can provide them with this updated information by completing the electronic form obtainable from the official website.

If you have any queries on this, please call the City Council on 011 375 5555, or email to valuationenquiries@joburg.org.za, or use the objection option on the website.

The future is going to be a bit different from what we are used to, and some property owners will pay a bit more that they have paid in the past.  However the new law draws in many property owners who have not been paying rates up to now, and requires them for the first time to help carry the financial burden of funding our City.

Ultimately, we will all benefit.

Police News

Our SAPS sector policing plan, which is the basis of all crime prevention activities, is going to be based largely around the camera surveillance project for a while, together with an emphasis on residents notifying the police of suspicious activities. Many residents already provide information, and it makes a huge difference.

In addition, the SAPS are focusing on visible policing at the Mall and its surrounding areas, as armed robberies at Malls are still a problem in many suburbs.

The SAPS also warn everyone to be on the lookout for trouble, as hijackers are known to scout for victims at Malls and then follow them home.

Please take care, and help the SAPS to help you by helping yourselves.

SAPS emergency
0860 10111.

Feedback on major projects:

Traffic and Taxi Project

The NKRA is pleased to note that JMPD have been a bit more active in Killarney Road over the last few months, although we still need much more assistance if we are going to break the prevailing attitude of lawlessness that has seemingly overtaken motorists from all walks of life.

We have been promised that the JMPD will provide a police presence at least twice a week in Killarney Road. They also promised us that they will arrange the shifts to cover the evenings as well, when the taxis are at their most numerous. However, as you will have noticed, these promises are being kept as an exception rather than a rule.

Nonetheless anything is better than nothing, and the onus is obviously on us all to obey the laws whether or not we can see a Metro officer standing ready with a ticket book.
 

Meanwhile, we are continuing with our project to have the two pedestrian crossings in Killarney Road supplemented by large speed-humps, so as to incentivise the taxis and other vehicles to at least slow down a little, and thereby give the many pedestrians a fair chance of survival. We have had three pedestrians run over already in that road, and its probably only a matter of time until somebody is killed.

This speed-hump project has been approved by the Johannesburg Roads Agency, and they have undertaken to implement the work in the autumn. Despite some initial fiscal pessimism, the JRA has now agreed that they might perhaps have a little bit of budget left after all, and they will hopefully be able to pay for the work themselves. Thank you nonetheless to the donors who volunteered to assist in this project, particularly the Killarney Mall.

We are also working on a project with the NPA to allow the film from our new security cameras to be used to issue traffic fines to motorists who park illegally, and who ignore the stop streets. This will be a national first, and will open the way for the JMPD to use other video footage to prosecute other moving violations, such as the taxis who drive in the emergency lane on the freeway during rush-hour gridlock.

Killarney-Riviera a Heritage Zone?

A proposal has been put forward to have Killarney and Riviera rezoned as a heritage area, as is being done in parts of Houghton. The effect of this, if successful, will be that developers will be more constrained when they consider demolishing existing buildings and structures, or even cutting down any of our magnificent trees.

Many buyers are drawn to our area by the mature trees and the architectural styles. Such buyers will undoubtedly be more willing to pay top dollar if they know that the existing attractive appearance of the suburb cannot be altered easily by persons with no long-term affiliation with the area, as happens regularly in places like Plettenberg Bay. The project may thus improve our property values even further.

If you have any questions, suggestions or objections to this proposal, please let us know at wdford@global.co.za

Other things that are happening:

Sectional Titles Help-line

How often do you need to ask a technical question about the management of problem issues in sectional title complexes, only to have your managing agent admit they don’t know the answer?

Matthew Caisley Properties CC is a firm of Sectional Title & Home Owners Association Management specialists, and the managing members Matthew and Gillian Caisley are themselves resident in Killarney. They have generously offered to give free advice on sectional title issues to all NKRA members.

If you have a sectional title issue and would like some specialist advice, please contact them at mattcaisley@mweb.co.za
 
How to complain usefully!

The City is certainly struggling to maintain the infrastructure, but to their credit they are trying. In order to find out more efficiently what and where the problems are, they have established a range of reporting numbers for various concerns. If you notice a problem, don’t complain to your friends, phone these numbers and complain to somebody who can and will do something about it:

• All problems: 011 375 5555;
• Traffic lights out of order – 082 827 8250;
• Manhole covers missing – 011 688 1500;
• All by-law infringements – Superintendent Makgotsi on 082 506 5691 (JMPD).

Animal Rescue initiatives

We often find stray or injured animals on the pavements, in the gutters or even hiding on our properties. Such animals are unable to help themselves, and are utterly dependent on kind-hearted humans to lend a hand. Not all of us are able to assist an injured or homeless animal personally, but fortunately there are people in the world who take an interest and are able to actively assist these helpless creatures.

I have been given the following list of contact numbers, and I am assured that these people are reliable and willing to assist:
? FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation – 011 807 6993 or 083 558 5658
? Animals in Distress (all hours) – 011 466 0261 or 083 643 9480
? Kitty and Puppy Haven – 011 440 2404
? Cora – 082 926 3627
? Anneke – 083 454 5824
? Annette (cats) – 083 566 8150
? Sheryl – 083 632 0596
? Hayley – 083 644 5504 or 011 486 1102
? Mrs. Gibson (all hours) – 011 440 6971
? Ivy Road Vet, Norwood – 011 728 9367
? Parktown North Vet – 011 447 2517

Please help where you can, even if just by making a phone call.

 

Win R5000 by saving electricity

Pick n Pay stores are running a promotion to incentivise all citizens to save electricity. 50 persons per month will each win R5000 in Pick n Pay vouchers up to May 2008. You can enter at your nearest Pick n Pay store. See the dedicated website for more details:
http://www.powerpledge.co.za/index.aspx

There are many things you can do to save significant amounts of electricity, such as insulating your geysers, turning down the thermostat, and switching your TV off properly at the wall. However, blocks of flats can save a huge amount of power by using special new energy-saving light-bulbs in the all-night lights on the common areas and corridors. These light-bulbs provide all the lighting you need for that purpose, but use a fraction of the power and last much longer too.